I’d like to take you through the whole design process. This will enable you to decide on which services relate to your needs and ensure you have the design services that you require, taking into account your budget as well as your requirements.
1 INITIAL MEETING
The purpose of this first meeting is to initiate a discussion on the changes you have in mind. It will also enable me to see your existing garden and understand your likes and dislikes, your aspirations and needs. Together we can create a design brief which captures ideas discussed.
I will talk you through the design process, show you photo ideas of landscape materials as well as plant combinations and selections. You may have pictures from magazines, etc to show me your own ideas. Assisting you to find out exactly what you want is part of my role and discussing what you don’t like is also a very important factor.
I will write to you shortly after our first meeting confirming the brief, my design fee and my terms of engagement.
Once you have approved the design fee in writing, we can arrange a mutually convenient time to survey the garden. This involves taking accurate measurements, noting changes in level and conducting a site analysis, documenting problem areas and areas which could be enhanced.
This may take several hours, depending on the size and structure of the garden. In some circumstances, it may be necessary to recommend the services of specialists, including structural engineers, architects or land surveyors. Their fee will be payable directly by you.
3 OUTLINE PLAN
Now I have all the information I need from the survey, I can create an outline plan for the garden. This will show the new features and layout of the garden as well as indicating which materials are to be used. I will also include any sketches or drawings to assist you to visualise the finished design.
I will present the outline plan at a second meeting (usually about a month after my initial visit, depending on schedules). This is an opportunity for you to look at the design in detail and ask any questions which may arise. You may want to sit with the plans for two or three weeks, there is no rush if you need time to reflect. NOTE: Under most circumstances I am happy to make minor amendments to plans, covered within the agreed fee. However, if you have a serious change of mind or there are unforeseen circumstances for which I could not plan, I will charge my usual design rate of £60 per hour for amendments.
Once the plan is agreed in writing and payment is received, we can proceed to the next step.
4 CONSTRUCTION DRAWINGS
Detailed plan showing measurements, structural requirements and materials to be used to aid Contractors. The Construction Drawings are quoted separately.
5 PLANTING PLAN
The Outline Plan will indicate general planting envisaged but it is also vital that a detailed plan is drawn up showing exact locations, sizes and quantities of all plants. The Planting Plan is quoted separately as its cost is dependent on the planting area and the style of planting required. It will also include a detailed planting schedule listing all plant type, variety and pot size so that you have the correct information for nurseries and contractors.
6 TENDER PROCESS
The building of the garden – There are several different ways to go here and I can work with whatever suits you. Some clients already have a contractor in mind, or are looking at doing the work themselves, others will need to find someone to build their garden for them. If this is your choice, I can make life a little easier for you by putting your work out to tender on your behalf. In these circumstances I will ask for competitive bids from three contractors (of your choosing). I am completely independent of any contractor and as such can act effectively as your representative on site.
Alternatively, the garden can be constructed in stages. I can help you in planning the best way to divide the work, meaning you can budget effectively and gain the most from your garden as quickly as possible.
7 GOOD QUALITY PLANT SUPPLY
I am able to source high quality plants which can be planted by you or by the contractor. The cost to you is better than most garden centres.